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To: risk
Iranian-Americans in LA protest Iran's hard-line government
Associated Press
Posted on Wed, Feb. 11, 2004

[No pics yet, alas!]

LOS ANGELES - Thousands of Iranian-Americans rallied in opposition to Iran's hard-line government Tuesday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

Nearly 3,000 attended a rally outside the federal building in Los Angeles' Westwood section, police said. About 1,500 then marched while calling for a boycott of Iran's legislative elections on Feb. 20.

Iran's governing council recently disqualified hundreds of reformist candidates. The action drew strong protests from reformist lawmakers and criticism from President Mohammad Khatami, but several attempts to get all candidates reinstated failed.

Tuesday's protests were designed to show solidarity with reformist candidates, many of whom are pledging to boycott the election, activists said.

Protesters also want Western nations to distance themselves from Iran's oppressive government.

"The message is change," said Iman Foroutan, a spokesman for the Iran of Tomorrow Movement, a reformist group based in Los Angeles. "The people in Iran are ready to take matters into their own hands. All they need is ... moral support and pressure from other countries on the government."

The protest, held by a coalition of opposition groups and media outlets, coincided with this week's 25th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, during which religious clerics overthrew the American-backed shah and seized power. The hard-liners promised democracy but have ruled with an iron hand.

The three-hour march snarled traffic but was peaceful, police Sgt. Terri Brinkmeyer said. No arrests were made.
7 posted on 02/11/2004 2:05:15 AM PST by risk
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To: risk
Note: Rushdie has found a great way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the the Islamic Revolution that led to a fatwa against him...

A Valentine wedding for Rushdie?


LONDON: Salman Rushdie’s endlessly fascinating love life is yet again the talk of the town as literary London’s bitchiest rumour mills whirr about the magical realism of a married man getting ‘engaged’ to his delectable girlfriend.

Lakshmi with Rushdie

Rushdie’s live-in girlfriend of four years, the long-limbed, divine-featured Padma Lakshmi , has reportedly been seen wearing a bling-bling rock on the third finger of her left hand, i.e. the engagement one.

The huge, square-cut diamond was apparently ordered from a New York jeweller.

An inveterate gossip masquerading as a journalist for The Daily Telegraph newspaper, asked Lakshmi if she was soon to be the fourth Mrs Salman Rushdie.

Upon which, Lakshmi, arguably Chennai’s most famous export to Manhattan, coyly offered that eternal expectation of married bliss: "I guess so".

The only snag, of course, is the continuing health and good spirits of the third Mrs Rushdie, writer Elizabeth West.

8 posted on 02/11/2004 2:13:35 AM PST by risk
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